Jan 292014
 

My warm Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar and refined oil free ~ perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert when paired with a delicious scoop cashew ice cream.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Way back when, in my past life, I made a career choice that may surprise you.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

After graduating from FSU I attended a career fair and saw a friend I knew. He was working as a manager and encouraged me to join the manager training program.

For the following year, I was a manager at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

I have to give people that work in retail a shout out here. Not only do you work long hours, nights, weekends and holidays ~ you refold, restock and greet customers with a smile, even when you’re ready to call it a day. I’ll admit, it was the hours that prompted me to start looking for another source of income. The day I made the announcement that I was leaving was bittersweet. I was excited about the future, but I had made lots of wonderful friends that I would miss. My dear friend and co-worker Karey B. was even in my wedding party!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Before I left they had a little party for me. When I opened the box that held the cake, I was greeted with an unexpected, tongue-in-cheek saying and I started laughing hysterically.

The cake said “Peace Out Beotch!”

When I took my Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake out of the oven, all the memories of those friends flooded back ~ to this day,  I still can’t help but chuckle at their cookie cake.

____________________________

In this recipe, warm, caramelized bananas, a touch of salt and the tang of lemon are deliciously nestled under a scoop of cool, vanilla cashew-cream ice cream. I hope you enjoy every bite!

Banana Cookie Cake

Banana Cookie Cake

Caramelized Banana Cookie Cake Recipe

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable  Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups gluten free quick oats (or rolled oats pulsed in a food processor a few times)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
4 ripe bananas, divided
1/3 cup agave or local honey, divided
1/4 cup peanut butter, Nutzo or Sunbutter
2 Tbsp unrefined organic coconut oil, melted, divided
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix oatmeal, almond flour and salt in a medium bowl. In a second bowl add 1 banana, mashed, 4 Tbsp agave or local honey, nut butter and 1 Tbsp coconut oil; blend until smooth. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients; mix well and press into a baking pan greased with some additional coconut oil; bake 15 minutes.

2. Slice remaining 3 bananas and place evenly over baked crust mixture. Mix remaining agave or local honey, coconut oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; brush over bananas; bake 5 minutes; set to broil on high and broil 5 minutes or until bananas begin to brown and caramelize. Sprinkle a bit more salt, if desired. Let cool, slice and top with cashew or banana ice cream.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 271.6
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 57.7 mg
Potassium 303.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 41.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g

Sugars 20.1 g
Protein 6.0 g
Vitamin A 1.1 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 21.7 %
Vitamin C 10.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 4.3 %
Folate 4.7 %
Iron 8.1 %
Magnesium 10.7 %
Manganese 7.5 %
Niacin 7.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.5 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 4.8 %
Selenium 2.0 %
Thiamin 2.5 %
Zinc 2.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 072014
 

This cheesy chia seed soup is simple, filling and comforting, and will help you lose weight naturally with the perfect blend of fiber, good fats and protein.

Conquer your New Years Resolution!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

I have completely fallen in love with this soup. Warm, flavorful organic broth, hearty chia seeds with their good fats, fiber and micronutrients, and nutritional yeast with it’s signature cheesy flavor, packed with b-vitamins is a satisfying breakfast, quick lunch or warm, light dinner. This is an AWESOME recipe to take on the go. Pack some warm broth in a Thermos and bring a snack size cup with the chia seed and nutritional yeast – just stir in when you are ready to eat!

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

The chia I use is called Mila – and this blend happened to be blonde.  Any varietal/color can be used and it will be delicious.  Mila is microsliced so that the seeds are opened and have more surface area without damaging the cotents. It is a blend of chia seed grown at various farms along the equator in volcanic soil. For four more reasons I choose this blend visit this Mila bar recipe.

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

Cheesy Chia Seed Soup

1 Serving
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp chia, ground (any varietal)

Directions

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small stock pot over medium high heat; stir in nutritional yeast and chia. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 195.0
Total Fat 6.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 575.1 mg
Potassium 440.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.2 g
Dietary Fiber 13.9 g
Sugars 3.0 g
Protein 14.3 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-12 133.0 %
Vitamin B-6 480.0 %
Vitamin C 0.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.0 %
Calcium 17.0 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 60.0 %
Iron 18.0 %
Magnesium 25.0 %
Manganese 5.0 %
Niacin 280.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.0 %
Phosphorus 17.0 %
Riboflavin 565.0 %
Selenium 32.0 %
Thiamin 640.0 %
Zinc 21.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Oct 152013
 

Gently sweet, soft, moist and comforting – these kale and flax cornbread muffins are supremely satisfying.

They are perfect for breakfast or as a great accompaniment for dinner (and your kids will love eating kale and flax). Imagine that!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

There is something comforting about cornbread – it’s a little sweet and a unique texture that can only be a cornbread. For anyone thinking about adding more plant based foods into their diet this is a great start!

If you have been following my blog, you know that I’m taking plant based nutrition courses with Cornell University to obtain my Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  I did a review of my first class and have finished with the second called diseases of affluence. We are learning more and more about the healing power of plants as a whole ~ plants are filled with the right amounts of protein, are high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Inversely, animal foods (including dairy) have cholesterol, saturated fats and high amounts of animal protein that are fuel for the fire when it comes to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many more.

 Instead of doing a boring old review, I will share a moving story with you that one of my fellow students posted. He is a doctor that obviously cares very much about his patients. One in particular was a very sick lady…..

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Story courtesy of Doctor Anthony Stugan.  Dr Stugan ~ we all thank you so much for this moving story. You will change many lives through your caring and commitment to health.

“While I find all of Dr. Campbell’s Principles of Health important and compelling, I would like to take this opportunity to tell a brief story relating to Principle #6: The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages – that is, before diagnosis- can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages, after diagnosis.

In early August, about three weeks after I had changed to a WFPB [Whole Foods Plant Based] diet, I began to recommend this to my patients. One patient who I had been seeing for the past five years was a sixty-six year old female who was obese at five-feet two inches and just over 280lbs. She had undergone a left breast lumpectomy for cancer, was an uncontrolled Type II diabetic on three oral hypoglycemics, had previously undergone triple bypass for coronary artery disease, had hypertension, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, hyperuricemia, obstructive sleep apnea, renal insufficiency, and chronic venous stasis with intermittent ulcerations on lower extremities. She was taking more than a dozen prescribed medications from myself and other medical sub-specialists. At the time of her appointment I recall she was wearing UNA Boots (medicated wraps for venous stasis ulcerations) on both legs. We had previously adjusted her diuretics to try and diminish the weeping edema in her legs only to add further insult to her kidney function. Sodium restriction to her meant not adding salt to her food–which consisted of sausage, hot dogs, and a favorite in this area–biscuits and gravy.

We discussed her disappointing lab results, her weight gain, her chronic edema, and then I just told her that my approach to treating her was failing and I then asked her if she would be agreeable to exploring an entirely different path. I explained that since her last appointment, I had learned a considerable amount about the benefits of whole food plant based nutrition and that if she would consider this option, we could possibly reverse her diabetes, help her lose weight, improve her blood pressure and even reduce or eliminate the possibility of her breast cancer returning. I sat with her and we leafed through some pages of Dr. Fuhrman’s book: Eat to Live, and we talked about several of his patients whose stories are featured in the book and who were able to successfully lose weight and discontinue many or all of their medications and regain their health. I explained to her that after 20 years of medical practice, I was still learning new things. I shared with her that I had recently changed my diet and that this enabled me to discontinue my cholesterol and blood pressure medications which I had taken for 17 and 10 years respectively. She was shocked that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “But Dcotor, you’re so thin, you mean you have high cholesterol too?” Prior to changing my diet I was 5ft 10 and weighed 170 lbs. I explained that even though I was not overweight and my cholesterol and blood pressure were controlled with medication, I didn’t feel good and I was willing to change my diet to see what would happen. I told her that I now had much more energy throughout the day and that I felt ten years younger! Better still, I felt empowered by the fact that I was now in control of my own health instead of simply taking a handful of pills everyday. I explained to her that with respect to her diabetes, we were in a sense just chasing our tails by periodically trying new medications to lower her glucose and A1c levels. With the WFPB diet, she could potentially eliminate the need for all of the diabetic medications altogether. She embraced this idea, agreed to order a copy of the book and try to join me on this new healthy eating lifestyle. We kept all of her medications the same and scheduled a follow up appointment for six weeks later.

In two weeks, she called the office because she experienced her first ever near-hypoglycemic episode, a finger stick glucose of 74. She told me that although she had “cheated” once or twice, she was enjoying the book and was committed to the lifestyle change. I recommended that she immediately discontinue all three of her diabetic medications.

On her follow up appointment, we rejoiced over her 21lb weight loss, normal blood pressure, complete resolution of her lower extremity edema, and glycohemoglobin A1c of 5.8% — now in normal range. I am so proud of her, I told her that in all of my years of practice, I had never seen such a dramatic improvement in such a short time. No medication will ever accomplish this.

She is now even more committed to continuing this lifestyle and she has gone on to support one of her friends adopt a WFPB diet.

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

For anyone that is looking to cut out oils – including extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil – you can try substituting some or all of the oil with unsweet apple sauce. I will definitely be trying this in future batches!

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

All Natural Kale and Flax Cornbread Muffins

Serves 12
Vegan, Gluten Free Option
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp plain non-dairy milk
1 cup whole wheat or gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup agave or local honey
1/2 cup pure coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup finely chopped raw kale
2 green onions, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F.   Mix 1 Tbsp flax with 3 Tbsp non dairy milk and place in refrigerator. Mix flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add agave or honey, coconut oil, 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, flax mixture and stir to combine. Fold in kale and green onions. Spoon evenly into 12 muffin tins and bake 17 -20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
12 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 207.4
Total Fat 9.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 232.3 mg
Potassium 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g

Sugars 11.8 g
Protein 2.6 g
Vitamin A 22.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.3 %
Vitamin C 5.8 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.1 %
Calcium 7.8 %
Copper 1.9 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 3.6 %
Magnesium 3.8 %
Manganese 4.9 %
Niacin 2.1 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 5.3 %
Riboflavin 1.9 %
Selenium 2.5 %
Thiamin 2.9 %
Zinc 1.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Aug 082013
 

I confess.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

I miss tuna fish sandwiches and chicken salad – but substituting chickpeas with the same flavors is just as satisfying on a plant based diet! I love that clean and fresh taste of dill – so distinctive – paired with nuts or seeds.

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

As soon as I saw this recipe from my friend Alissa I knew exactly how I was going to use the Nasoya vegan whipped spread called Nayonaise I was asked to review. A little goes a long way in this recipe. I enjoyed the tangy flavor with just a hint of lemon and the mild seasonings of turmeric, paprika and garlic. Thanks Nasoya!

This versatile salad is perfect as an appetizer, quick lunch or over greens for a complete and satisfying meal.

If you are on a plant based diet are there any recipes you miss?  Have you been able to recreate them in a satisfying way?

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Dilled Chickpea Salad

Inspired by Connoisseurus Veg 
Serves 2 dinner portion or 4 appetizer portion
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**On sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores August 7 – September 6, 2013

Ingredients

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas** (or 1 14.5 oz can will work too)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp black and/or white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp whipped Nayonaise
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds**
1/8 tsp coarse grind sea salt

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; crush chickpeas a bit with a fork.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 195.4
Total Fat 7.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 404.2 mg
Potassium 254.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 0.2 g
Protein 7.4 g

Vitamin A 0.9 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 28.3 %
Vitamin C 7.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 18.0 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 20.1 %
Folate 22.2 %
Iron 11.2 %
Magnesium 11.8 %
Manganese 41.7 %
Niacin 3.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.1 %
Phosphorus 19.0 %
Riboflavin 3.4 %
Selenium 12.4 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 11.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jul 042013
 

Gently sweet, a little salty and a little spicy.
Is your mouth watering yet?

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Anyone that follows my blog knows that I tend to keep things simple. As soon as I the ingredient list climbs above 7 items I know the likelyhood of people making it goes way down.  We just don’t have the time any more!  We all know we should get more veggies and fruit in our diet but sometimes grabbing an apple can be a bit monotonous.  By just adding a few flavors that compliment that produce we can take it from ho-hum to WOW!

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

There is a book I’ve mentioned in the past called the Flavor Bible.  When I’m stumped on one ingredient I like to crack it open and search for flavors that not only compliment, but are also unexpected.  If you love cooking and are at any level – from novice to expert -the is a must have resource and makes a wonderful gift for anyone in your life that loves to cook. (My second Christmas idea!)

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

 When it comes to strawberries what do you think of? Various dairy items? Chocolate? Shortcake?  Had I not opened my Flavor Bible I would never have thought ginger – but what a compliment it was! For those people that eat honey – check out your local farmers market and choose a local bee-keeper and ask about his methods to ensure they are sustainable. Vegans should choose a quality agave (I buy mine at Native Sun!)

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Ginger

Strawberries, Agave and Crystallized Ginger

Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, June 7 through July 6, 2013

Ingredients

5 strawberries**
2 ginger chews (crystallized ginger)
1 tsp agave (or honey for non-vegan)
Dash of coarse sea salt

Directions

1. Slice strawberries and ginger chews; top with agave and sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
1 Serving
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 92.2
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 161.7 mg
Potassium 152.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
Sugars 15.2 g
Protein 0.6 g

Vitamin A 0.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 2.7 %
Vitamin C 85.1 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.6 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 2.3 %
Folate 4.1 %
Iron 2.0 %
Magnesium 2.3 %
Manganese 13.3 %
Niacin 1.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.1 %
Phosphorus 1.7 %
Riboflavin 3.6 %
Selenium 1.0 %
Thiamin 1.2 %
Zinc 0.9 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 162013
 

There are four reasons I choose Mila.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

WHY is it better?   A fair question.  Over the years, I have been approached with many various products – from skin care, to food, to pills and shakes and this is the only product I have chosen to support.

Quality.

We need to eat Omega 3′s, our bodies can not produce them.

There are so many benefits of Omega 3′s including:

Protection against:
heart disease
stroke
rheumatoid arthritis
inflammatory bowel disease
lupus
autism
depression, bipolar, eating disorders
joint degeneration
asthma
Many other diseases caused by inflammation (Google “Omega 3′s, any condition and medical studies” and you will see if Omega 3′s help that condition)

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

Chocolate Chip Mila Bars

First let me back up and start with why I choose chia in the first place.

Fish Oil: I do not take fish oil pills because of several discoveries during my research over the years; the first being cancer-causing “fish oil lipid peroxidation“, secondly, contaminants such as PCB’s and mercury may be present and thirdly, the side effects such as gas, bloating, belching and diarrhea.  Fish oil is a man made supplement and I prefer to eat mostly whole raw foods because of the multiple benefits that come along with it – fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins and nutrients.

So that leaves me with plant based sources – chia and flax.

Flax: For the same reasons that people are scared of soy, flax is on my “consume less” list – flax is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can change the hormone balance in the body and there has been some evidence that it can promote the growth of cancer tumors. The jury is still out on whether high amounts of soy and flax can help or hurt, but I eat a fair amount of soy so I choose to limit the amount of flax I eat. Flax can also go rancid very quickly and many of the sources are genetically modified – therefore banned in several countries.

Mila vs other brands Chia: Chia grows best in climates along the equator with nutrient dense soil. Lifemax has connected with several farms in these regions and ensured they only grow organic, non-GMO seed.  As each harvested crop comes into the warehouse it is randomly sampled by independent laboratories to ensure that the quality of the seed is the same from scoop to scoop.  The various crops are blended together to guaranty the high amounts of fiber, Omega 3′s, protein etc. The seeds are then cleaned in a five step cleaning process housed in a facility that ensures there is no wheat or other contamination and therefore is certified gluten free, and finally the seeds are micro-sliced to ensure maximum absorption without damaging the contents of the seed.

Results from scientific study from the North Carolina Research Institute on Mila vs other brands of chia.
Results from scientific study from North Carolina Research Institute on absorption of micro sliced chia

After finding Mila I asked myself – how DO the other brands clean their chia seeds? Have you ever tried to clean a chia seed? They are about the size of the head of a pin, so the likelihood is high that most brands are not being as thoroughly cleaned for dirt, mold and salmonella.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

I experienced the difference personally.

For years I ate organic chia until my mom’s neurology nurse practitioner sent me a month supply of Mila for my personal review. After eating it for three weeks I noticed better energy and better digestion and three months later won my battle with depression.
I have also seen the difference in my mom with her Multiple Sclerosis – she has much more energy and it helps keep her weight down, thereby making it easier to get around. There are so many stories I’ve come across from people that have been helped by this food that I can’t ignore the fact that it is different.

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Bars

100% FAIR TRADE – this company gives back. This is one of my most favorite reasons! 

The small farmers that are taught to grow this organic seed are located in some of the most impoverished countries in the world.  Not only can they consume it for their nutritional benefit but also are given a way to make an income for their families though fair trade standards. Fair trade is so important for any product you consume.  These standards ensure ethical working conditions for the farmers, prohibit child labor and ensure sustainable farming practices.  This comes at a higher price – but is absolutely worth it.

Our long-term world vision is to educate families in villages to sustain themselves by teaching them to grow the healthiest whole, raw food. Our access to this extraordinary seed gives us the opportunity to affect the well-being of those around the world. Our goal is not only to change their health but also to create an economical infrastructure for the benefit of future generations.”

Genesis Pure gives people a way to not only get the food for free but to create a real asset for themselves and their family

I agree with my friend Mikaele at Green Your Spirit.  In today’s economic climate people are definitely looking for additional sources of income and this is a food that everyone from your grandmother to your children to your pets needs in their diet.  The reality is that most people are now at least aware of Omega 3′s but are not necessarily consuming what their body needs.  What a gift to be able to offer people!  I love the fact that I’m creating an asset for my daughter in the future.

The most that can be spent on Mila is $1.57 per serving  - preferred customer and distributors get it for less.   It is definitely worth it to me to spend the money on this blend.  Nutrition is the one thing I will not skimp on for myself and my family.  This is why I belong to KyV Farm, a organic, local farm share and why I shop at Native Sun.  I am willing to pay for the assurance that the food I’m putting into my body is quality.

To purchase a bag of Mila click here, then click shop and enter representative ID US11065661. $1.57 per serving.
If you try Mila and love it, join the wholesale membership club for $39 bucks and get the food for $1.43 per serving – along with 25% off all kinds of other products!
For details on joining the wholesale membership club, email me at chefdawn(at)hotmail.com.  

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars

Inspired by Wellness Mama
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

8 pitted Medjool dates
Rounded 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup Mila
3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (or peanut butter)

Optional
2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, vegan)
2 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Directions

1. Place dates in a food processor and process into a paste; add salt, Mila and sunflower seed butter; mix by hand. (If needed add up to 1 additional Tbsp sunflower seed butter if mixture is too crumbly. This will adjust calorie content.) Mix in mini chocolate chips and sunflower seeds and form a large ball; press into a square shape and cut into four equal bars.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 256.8
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 125.3 mg
Potassium 198.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Sugars 15.8 g
Protein 7.0 g

Vitamin B-6 1.4 %
Vitamin E 10.2 %
Calcium 9.8 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 0.8 %
Iron 11.1 %
Magnesium 11.2 %
Manganese 13.2 %
Niacin 5.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 12.0 %
Riboflavin 0.6 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 0.6 %
Zinc 4.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
I hope you enjoy these Chocolate Chip Chia (Mila) Meal Replacement Bars!

May 182013
 

Gingery Pepita Bars – a little spicy, a little salty and a little sweet.

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

100% delicious.

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

These are so satisfying and EASY to make – you’ll never spend money on pre-made bars again.  I’ve been making tons of variations of these with whatever is on sale.  I simply add enough dates, raisins or prunes so that the mixture just stays together and then shape into bites or bars.

Bars are perfect to grab on a busy day when you just won’t have a lot of time to eat and make a great breakfast or snack.  The cashews and dates will give you tons of energy, ginger aids in digestion and has anti-inflammatory powers, and pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a great source of zinc, protein and iron.

Say no to store bought bars!

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

 Gingery Pepita Energy Bars

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Market, May 7 – June 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped dried dates
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger (ginger chews)**
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp whole pumpkin seeds (pepitas)**

Directions

1. Place all ingredients except whole pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Mix pepitas in by hand and roll into a ball; press onto parchment paper and form a square; cut into four sections.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 156.4
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 77.6 mg
Potassium 221.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g

Sugars 17.3 g
Protein 2.5 g
Vitamin B-6 4.0 %
Vitamin C 0.2 %
Vitamin E 5.4 %
Calcium 1.5 %
Copper 15.5 %
Folate 4.0 %
Iron 5.1 %
Magnesium 9.7 %
Manganese 9.3 %
Niacin 2.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.0 %
Phosphorus 8.7 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 4.9 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 5.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Gingery Pepita Energy Bars!

Feb 212013
 

Six Disney Food Survival Tips

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Disney World.

Is it one of your life’s dreams to get there? Or are you not into the lines and crowds?

I would definitely put myself into the latter category.  Camping is one of my favorite pastimes.  Nature. Solitude. Calm.  My life is crazy enough as it is, so going into an environment of man-made chaos is not my cup of tea.  Nevertheless, I just returned from a three day Disney adventure because we had family that flew in from Massachusetts that my daughter had never met and she very much enjoyed meeting her cousins…and Mary Poppins.

One of the first and most obvious things to me, of course, was the food choices of many Disney-goers.  At the “resort” we stayed at there was a cafeteria where my family and I ate.  During one particular breakfast I noticed a sadly obese child that had skittles, some sort of cinnamon bun, a chocolate chip cookie, bacon and a chocolate chip pancake on his plate and was washing that down with his ($17) mug of Coke.  The more I looked around, the more I realized it was the same with many of the parents and other children’s plates.  Some of the “healthy” choices were Light and Fit yogurt, flavored milks and frosted flakes.  If you know anything about the commercial dairy industry and GMO corn, you know this is not actually a healthy choice.

So what is a food conscious person to do?  With a little planning you can both save money and stay healthy!  

1) Spend a little time to plan ahead. Choose a few recipes to make beforehand, such as this five ingredient black bean burger. **(For those flying in see below.)
2) Find out if you can get a refrigerator in your room or if you will need to get ice each morning.
3) Bring a canvas bag for non-refrigeration items, a large cooler for anything that must stay cold and smaller lunch bag for the day trips.
4) Each morning separate breakfast items out and then pack enough food items for lunch and snacks in the smaller bag. (You will have a much easier time of this with a plant based diet since you won’t need to worry as much about refrigeration.) If you are not going back to the room for dinner, you will need to pack that too.
5) Bring paper plates, napkins and utensils. (If you are flying in you can get these on the park grounds, but taking them along allows you to forgo having to stand in line to obtain only a plate.)
6) Bring some reusable storage containers that you can portion your lunch into and rinse out each night.

Note: For lunch items such as a bean burger, there are a few restaurants that are happy to allow you to use their condiments such as salsa, lettuce, tomato and onion when you tell them you or your child has food allergies – especially if you do purchase something from them such as a side salad or small iced coffee (I packed my own coconut creamer).

**If you are flying in, prior to leaving home, purchase and pack a soft sided cooler.  Upon arriving in Orlando find a grocery store such as Publix and stock up on some ice and essentials.  You can still make these five ingredient black bean burgers - all you need is a can of beans, mustard, ketchup, some instant oats, salt and pepper and a microwave.    

The outcome? With just this little bit of preparation: 1) I saved enough money to cover my daughter’s three day ticket into the park as a Florida resident and 2) we had some really delicious food compared to some of the generic items available.  There would have been almost nothing either of us could eat between my plant based diet and my daughter’s food allergies.  I found almost no meat/dairy free choices, unless we wanted to get a iceberg lettuce salad or a plastic packaged $7 bowl of melon.

Some of the items I packed included refillable water bottles with filters, fresh fruit, dried fruit, sun butter/peanut butter, whole grain bagel thins, rice cakes, home made bean burgers, an avocado, onion and tomato, carrots and hummus, salsa and organic corn chips, oatmeal, coconut milk creamer, rice milk for my daughter and a few splurge items such as a container of Blissful Blueberry Bake, gluten free fig newtons and GF pretzels.

Looking at the population of people that was in the parks was disheartening.  There were so many people that were so overweight they actually had to have motorized wheelchairs to get around.  It made me so sad and wishful that I could help them.  But as with all things in life we can only Live and Let Live and lead by example.  The more of us that band together in these situations and show people that eating and living healthy is possible the better.  My hope is that even ONE person saw what we were doing and said you know what, I’m going to do that next time!

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

This blueberry bake is a simple and satisfying warm dessert.  For those folks where fresh blueberries are not available, frozen would work great too.  Whatever you choose, be sure to get a variety that does not contain added sugars or salt -this way you can control the amount that is added to the recipe.

I encourage you to dress this base recipe up in different ways – some ginger or cinnamon would be lovely or the addition of some extra pecans or other nuts.  Don’t like agave?  Try  subbing some 100% maple syrup.  Any which way, you can’t go wrong with baked blueberries!

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Blissful Blueberry Bake

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Feb 7 through Mar 6, 2013

Ingredients

1 pint fresh blueberries**
¼ cup agave nectar, (Madhava)**
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup gluten free granola, (Natures Path)**
1 tsp coconut oil, melted (Nutiva) **

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F; mix blueberries, agave, lemon and salt in a small baking dish; mix granola and coconut oil in a small dish and then spoon over blueberries evenly; cover and bake 60 minutes, until warm and bubbly.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 213.6
Total Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 166.4 mg
Potassium 94.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.4 g
Sugars 29.8 g
Protein 2.7 g

Vitamin A 2.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.9 %
Vitamin C 24.7 %
Vitamin E 5.0 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 3.1 %
Folate 1.6 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 1.3 %
Manganese 14.2 %
Niacin 1.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 1.1 %
Riboflavin 3.0 %
Selenium 0.8 %
Thiamin 3.3 %
Zinc 0.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy my Blissful Blueberry Bake and Six Disney Food Survival Tips!

Dec 202012
 

If the weather outside is frightful – hopefully these six satisfying soups will make your day delightful. Before I take a brief break from blogging until after Christmas, I leave you with some of my personal and fan favorite soups I have featured over the years.

Happy Holidays and Let it snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Florida Fall Harvest Soup

Best Eggplant & Leek Soup Ever

Rustic Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup

Chinese Five Spice Miso Soup with Shitakes and Edamame

Calming Kale, Carrot, Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup with Forbidden Rice

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KyV (Know Your Vegetables) Workshop Recap 12-15-2012 

KyV Farm is a local, organic farm in the North Florida area that offers a farm share/CSA.   This is when a farm offers a share of their crop for a fee up front. You then get vegetables every week or every other week through the growing season – sharing in both the bounty and the risk with the farmer.  There are SO many benefits to a CSA, aside from the obvious of getting a variety of veggies into your diet; it is less expensive, it is a great way to get kids involved with real food, it supports the local economy and a local business, it builds a sense of community in that area and provides a connection with the earth….just to name a few.  I am sort of their self-appointed volunteer coordinator and event planner.  I write recipes and help plan events because they are so busy between working the field and running the business, that they just don’t have a lot of time to do this sort of thing.

The concept of the Know Your Vegetables workshop came about from the many questions about some of the unique and interesting veggies such as kohlrabi, various greens, bok choy and watermelon radish.  We received so many, that we decided to create a workshop to share information on identifying the vegetables, how to clean, store, prep and cook them.

For those of you that would like the recipes for the dishes prepared during the workshop – please click this link: Know Your Veggies 2012 Booklet

Vivian reviewed the prep and storage for each of the vegetables currently being grown at the farm….

….and I made a few recipes – including a bok choy saute, watermelon and carrot top salad, massaged kale and kohlrabi salad, roasted root vegetables and organic veggie broth.

Judging by all the munching and the scarce leftovers at the end, I should say we had great success with these recipes!

 Special thanks to everyone that participated,
 Heather Swoap for helping chop veggies, set-up and take-down,
Melanie Harris for providing our venue,
and Jaclyn Schweitzer for helping collect the money and check people in.

 Posted by at 6:34 pm  Tagged with:
Dec 192012
 

Happy Holidays!  Before I get to the last of my rolled cookie recipes…..(this one posted because of MANY requests)….Samoa No Bake Energy Bites 

No-Bake Samoa Bites

No-Bake Samoa Bites

….I want to show some love to an amazing lady I met through my businessAndrea Peltier.  This is my second post in my “inspirational women” series and in this world of negativity and chaos it is so nice to share a little something positive and uplifting about someone.  Is there anyone in your life you can do the same for today?  Just wait and see how great it makes you feel! Besides – who doesn’t love a good story?

Andrea is the mother of three – in fact, we met up at a convention last October in Orlando and she brought her four week old baby while her husband is deployed overseas.  He will not be back until April and will then get to meet his beautiful baby,  I was so impressed with her fitting her children into her life and showing them the importance of being self-confident and self-sufficient – these kids will definitely be a step ahead in life.

Andrea is on the right from a recent party.

  I caught up with Andrea again recently at a recent Christmas party, during which we had a white elephant gift exchange and (though my donation was a chia pet) I ended up with the most amazing gift – two handmade ornaments that said “health” and “wealth” with a card that noted how many times the ornaments we choose have meaning to us and are symbols of what we love and desire. SO true.  I fell in love with these ornaments and shared one with my dear friend Jodi for being an amazing business partner and friend.  (I’ll have to order us another set so we can each have both Jodi!)

Andrea – thank you for inspiring me to take the initiative to get up and out and live life – no excuses!

If you would like to order handmade ornaments from Andrea please contact her at PAndreaE5@gmail.com.

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Now – for these COOKIES!

I know I have now posted several variations of these round cookies so this variation is the last.

This recipe, that originated with my friend Theresa, has been passed around so many times to various business partners because it is SO amazing.  Peanut butter, chocolate and coconut make this cookie more like a decadent girl scout Samoa than a healthy energy bite! Everyone that eats these cookies asks where they can find the recipe so I made them for a recent KyV Farm workshop.

I love that I was able to start a business with so many inspirational women AND a food that has 3000mg of plant based Omega3′s and can be used as egg replacer in raw cookies.   This is a GREAT way to get lots of Omega 3s into kids without having to get them to swallow a huge pill or eat fish, and I love that they can help with making these.

For those of you that haven’t heard of this amazing food, Mila, and want to know more – click here.

 Samoa No Bake Energy Bites

Serves about 24
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup creamy peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
2/3 cup honey or agave
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup Mila
3/4 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients; refrigerate 30 minutes; roll into 24 1-inch balls and store in an air tight container.

Nutrition Facts
24 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 217.1
Total Fat 12.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 53.1 mg
Potassium 91.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 15.3 g
Protein 4.7 g

Vitamin B-6 2.6 %
Vitamin E 5.3 %
Calcium 1.8 %
Folate 2.0 %
Iron 4.0 %
Magnesium 4.3 %
Manganese 4.6 %
Niacin 7.2 %
Phosphorus 5.8 %
Riboflavin 1.2 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 2.3 %
Zinc 2.2 %

*Percent Daily Values for Samoa No Bake Energy Bites are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.